Spain's Fiesta de Cine Sees Attendance Rise

Pedro Alborenoz
"Spanish Affair"

Some 1.8 million people bought tickets from Monday to Wednesday of this week, taking advantage of the deep discounts designed to attract moviegoers back to the theaters.

MADRID -- Nearly 2 million moviegoers packed theaters during Spain's three-day Fiesta de Cine, whose deeply discounted admissions initiative marked a 15 percent rise from last year’s event and skyrocketed ticket sales by 206 percent from the same three-day period of the previous week, according to Rentrak Spain.

Box office sensation Spanish Affair led the top 10 films seen during the event that ran from Monday through Wednesday of this week and offered tickets at $3.90 (€2.90) to those who had registered for free.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Kamikaze, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, 300: Rise of an Empire, Non-Stop and Dallas Buyers Club were the top selling titles.

STORY: 'Spanish Affair' Breaks Box Office Records in Spain

The Spanish box office plunged 15 percent in 2013, but 2014 is already looking brighter. Spanish Affair alone has broken box office records as the best performing film of 2014 -- beating Spanish and U.S. products, with more than $22.8 million in its first three weeks.

Organizers of the Fiesta de Cine, which will have a second 2014 edition in October, decided to extend a parallel discount initiative called Wednesday at the Cinema, offering admission at $5.30 (€3.90) through July 9. Tickets usually range from $9 to $15.

Spain’s producers federation FAPAE, distributors entity Fedicine and exhibitors lobby FECE all back the programs designed to get Spaniards into theaters.